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Nest suspends sales of Protect smoke & carbon monoxide alarm over safety concerns

post #1 of 66
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Google-owned smart home firm Nest announced on Thursday that it has suspended sales of the Protect Smoke + CO Alarm after discovering one of the product's built-in convenience features poses a potential safety risk.




In a letter posted to Nest's website, cofounder and ex-Apple executive Tony Fadell said Protect's "Nest Wave" function, which turns the alarm off with a wave of the hand, may be unintentionally activated. If this were to happen, an alert could be delayed in the case of a real fire.

From Fadell's statement:

We identified this problem ourselves and are not aware of any customers who have experienced this, but the fact that it could even potentially happen is extremely important to me and I want to address it immediately.

We feel that the best and safest thing to do is to immediately disable the Nest Wave feature to resolve the issue and remove any safety concerns. While we fix Nest Wave, we have also halted sales of all new Nest Protect alarms to ensure no one buys an alarm that needs an immediate update.


Effective immediately, Nest Wave has been automatically deactivated on Protect units connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi. Owners are urged to turn on Protect's Wi-Fi function so their unit can receive the update.

In addition, the company has halted all new Protect device sales while a resolution to the problem is sorted out. Nest is offering full refunds for new owners who do not have Wi-Fi connectivity to properly update the product.

Fadell's Nest Labs was recently acquired by Google for $3.2 billion, though the Internet search giant said the smarthome product firm's operations would remain largely independent.
post #2 of 66
No fucking shit sherlock. As soon as I heard of this feature I thought of this possibility. The most important thing about a smoke alarm is that it goes off when it needs to. Making it needlessly complex is ridiculous. And this is the company people said Apple should have bought? Right.
post #3 of 66

".......which turns the alarm off with a wave of the hand....."

.

.

.

"From Fadell's statement:

We identified this problem ourselves and are not aware of any customers who have experienced this....except this idiot!!

 

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post #4 of 66
LOL. $3,200,000,000

This is what happens when shareholders have no voting rights. And it is going to get much, much worse

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post #5 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

No fucking shit sherlock. As soon as I heard of this feature I thought of this possibility. The most important thing about a smoke alarm is that it goes off when it needs to. Making it needlessly complex is ridiculous. And this is the company people said Apple should have bought? Right.

What is dumb is how easy the logic would be to ensure this didn't happen. Basically any trigger must sound for a minimum time before you could allow it to be waved off. If it had not gone off, it shouldn't be suppressing the alarm at all regardless of a possible wave detection. Shouldn't let a stupid feature make it not safe.
post #6 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

No fucking shit sherlock. As soon as I heard of this feature I thought of this possibility. The most important thing about a smoke alarm is that it goes off when it needs to. Making it needlessly complex is ridiculous. And this is the company people said Apple should have bought? Right.
Haters often claim that Apple's products only sell well because of sleek design and/or marketing. If the Nest thermostat and smoke detector aesthetically looked like most thermostats/smoke detectors would the tech media be drooling all over them? And didn't someone file a lawsuit claiming the energy savings weren't anything close to what was promised?
post #7 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

Haters often claim that Apple's products only sell well because of sleek design and/or marketing. If the Nest thermostat and smoke detector aesthetically looked like most thermostats/smoke detectors would the tech media be drooling all over them? And didn't someone file a lawsuit claiming the energy savings weren't anything close to what was promised?

With it being even more silly since Nest didn't even design it themselves. They got a third-party firm to do it.
post #8 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phone-UI-Guy View Post

What is dumb is how easy the logic would be to ensure this didn't happen. Basically any trigger must sound for a minimum time before you could allow it to be waved off. If it had not gone off, it shouldn't be suppressing the alarm at all regardless of a possible wave detection. Shouldn't let a stupid feature make it not safe.

1) I'm not sure Wave will ever be good. Perhaps a physical button -and- access via an app will be enough.

2) I think the Nest Thermostat is great but I was never sold on Nest Protect at any price because what I've been lead to believe are differences in how the effectiveness of the smoke and CO detectors decrease over time, and at different rates. If these sensors were swappable (like a carbon water filter) and the Protect would alert you when it was time (like print SW with printer cartridges) I could get behind that.

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post #9 of 66
A safety alarm with an off switch which can be accidentally and silently triggered.
Sounds like a winner. 1biggrin.gif

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post #10 of 66
No problem Google, I already suspended purchase of Nest products over cost and privacy concerns.
post #11 of 66

"Please return your Protect product to Nest so we can fix the safety issue (install a Google tracking camera)."

FEAR GOOGLE
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post #12 of 66
Unlike GM they have done the right thing and immediately worked to correct the problem. Rather than taking cheap shots at them I commend them for not putting people's safety over profit or reputation.
post #13 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by bulk001 View Post

Unlike GM they have done the right thing and immediately worked to correct the problem. Rather than taking cheap shots at them I commend them for not putting people's safety over profit or reputation.

Let's just compare a car to a CO/smoke detector.
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
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post #14 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Effective immediately, Nest Wave has been automatically deactivated on Protect units connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi. Owners are urged to turn on Protect's Wi-Fi function so their unit can receive the update.
 


Welcome to the new world order where companies can essentially enter your house through your Internet connection and update / deactivate / modify features on your products without your knowledge.

Thank you, but no thank you.  This "feature" had trouble written all over it.  I wonder if that $3B+ is still burning a hole in Google's pockets.

post #15 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Let's just compare a car to a CO/smoke detector.
I did just make a comparison but you seem to need some help so I will spell it out to you. It wasn't comparing a car and a smoke detector. It was comparing a $0.57 repair in a GM's cars starter that resulted in 13 know deaths to a vulnerability in a smoke detector that could also result in death. GM the company did nothing even though they have known about the issue since 2004, threatened financial ruin to those who wanted to take them to court and used US bankruptcy laws to absolve them of any liability. Nest has immediately come out and made people aware of the issue and is working to repair it or make people who did buy it whole. I commend nest for doing the right thing.
Edited by bulk001 - 4/3/14 at 5:18pm
post #16 of 66
'We will recall all units and replace the wave sensor with a camera which will identify all users (and friends and family). By identifying our user's daily habits and routines we will improve our ability to ascertain whether the house / apartment is actually burning'
post #17 of 66

Hoo-boy.

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post #18 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

No fucking shit sherlock. As soon as I heard of this feature I thought of this possibility. The most important thing about a smoke alarm is that it goes off when it needs to. Making it needlessly complex is ridiculous. And this is the company people said Apple should have bought? Right.

To all the people hating on this product because it's so "obvious" that an alarm should not have a silencing function...be aware that the original intent was to combat the "crying wolf" effect of overly annoying, hard-to-silence alarms. It's even more useless if people take the batteries out when they're cooking and leave it sitting in the junk drawer.

Obviously the implementation needs tweaking, but it's a great idea to reduce the signal-to-noise ratio. My condo's fire alarm goes off so frequently, we usually just put on our shoes and plug our ears.
post #19 of 66

They should turn off the Snooze function as well.

post #20 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Oak View Post

LOL. $3,200,000,000

This is what happens when shareholders have no voting rights. And it is going to get much, much worse

 

Kind of like using an aluminum band on a phone when you are explicitly told it interferes with reception.  

post #21 of 66

I purchased two Nests (pre-Google).  The thing fucking does not even have a "temperature hold" feature.  It drives me fucking nuts when it changes changes temperatures on its own 

 

$3,200,000,000 for this garbage  

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post #22 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by mistercow View Post
 

 

Kind of like using an aluminum band on a phone when you are explicitly told it interferes with reception.

 

 

LOL.  You decide to reach back to 2010 to a disproven issue to try to counter me.   What is your IQ, seriously? 

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post #23 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by acslater017 View Post

To all the people hating on this product because it's so "obvious" that an alarm should not have a silencing function...be aware that the original intent was to combat the "crying wolf" effect of overly annoying, hard-to-silence alarms. It's even more useless if people take the batteries out when they're cooking and leave it sitting in the junk drawer.

Obviously the implementation needs tweaking, but it's a great idea to reduce the signal-to-noise ratio. My condo's fire alarm goes off so frequently, we usually just put on our shoes and plug our ears.
1smile.gif with regards to the quote you responded to, it is my experience that it is often the grinders in life who have the most to say but have actually created very little of anything consequential in life. Anyone who has done any serious production work knows that there are going to be problems. Thing about companies like Apple and Nest is that unlike these grinder types they actually deal with funding solutions. Apple fired the Maps guy for refusing to apologize while many on these type if boards where trying to defend his poor work prior to Tim Cook coming out and saying that there was room for improvement with Maps. Apple gave out free bumpers to those affected by "antenna gate" etc.
post #24 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Oak View Post
 

LOL.  You decide to reach back to 2010 to a disproven issue to try to counter me.   What is your IQ, seriously? 

 

Because 2010 was so long ago?  A stupid move is a stupid move regardless of how long ago it was.    

 

130 to answer your question.

post #25 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by mistercow View Post
 

 

Because 2010 was so long ago?  A stupid move is a stupid move regardless of how long ago it was.    

 

130 to answer your question.

 

Touche mistercrow... Have a good night 

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post #26 of 66

Two things:

 

(1) It does appear that Nest is doing the responsible thing here.  Hopefully it is because it is the right thing to do, but it could just as easily be driven by liability concerns.  One lawsuit from a deadly fire where the smoke alarm was accidently disabled could cost them millions in damages and millions more in lost sales from the negative press.

 

(2) Add me to the list that saw a red flag when reading about that wave feature.  There are some devices that should be simple.  Adding a lot of convenience features that could fail or be inadvertently misused to a smoke/CO2 alarm seems inherently risky.

post #27 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by mistercow View Post
 

 

Kind of like using an aluminum band on a phone when you are explicitly told it interferes with reception.  

*yawn* The vast majority of the call dropping was due to a software glitch calculating the bars of reception incorrectly. The radio stack in the iPhone 4 was actually 8dB more sensitive than previous models.

 

Quote:
This change actually presented itself in our numeric signal strength reports - there’s more dynamic range in these numbers too. Previously, the absolute lowest value any iPhone would report was -113 dBm. With iOS 4.0.1/4.1, the value is now a shockingly low -121 dBm. In the iPhone 4 review, I talked a lot about how although the phone is prone to dropping signal from being held wrong, it was measurably more sensitive in weak signal areas. I was shocked that calls and data worked seemingly unfazed at -113 dBm. It seems as though this increased 8 dBm of range below -113 dBm was meant to show really how much more sensitive the radio stack is - it undeniably is more sensitive. Both Anand and I were able to hang onto calls all the way down at -121 dBm.

 

http://www.anandtech.com/show/3821/iphone-4-redux-analyzing-apples-ios-41-signal-fix

post #28 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by mistercow View Post

130 to answer your question.

1) I don't think you should have answered his rhetorical question, but even so there is no way to verify that so it makes any value meaningless.

2) IQ scores are meaningless values without knowing the test that was administered. Out of curiosity do you recall the name of the test?

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post #29 of 66

I have four of these.  So far things have been good except for an odd false alarm last week.  Resetting the unit seems to be fixed it..for now anyway.  Otherwise we've been pleased with them and if I really burn something in the kitchen, it works as advertised and wave works too.

 

I'm happy that they proactively decided to announce this, disable the feature and offer refunds.  As for me, I'm sure the engineers will get the algorithm right in the end.  They continue to function for their primary purpose.

post #30 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


1) I don't think you should have answered his rhetorical question, but even so there is no way to verify that so it makes any value meaningless.

2) IQ scores are meaningless values without knowing the test that was administered. Out of curiosity do you recall the name of the test?

Nope, I'm full of shit.  Don't know what my IQ is.  Just felt like egging him on a bit.

post #31 of 66
Whew. Dodged that bullet. Imagine if Apple had bought Nest we'd now be looking at a 10% overnight stock drop.
post #32 of 66
Would knowing the name of the test make his unverifiable answer any more verified?

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post #33 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

1) I don't think you should have answered his rhetorical question, but even so there is no way to verify that so it makes any value meaningless.

2) IQ scores are meaningless values without knowing the test that was administered. Out of curiosity do you recall the name of the test?

You should have known that geniuses don't go around creating usernames named after dumb farm animals with a title.
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post #34 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowley View Post

Would knowing the name of the test make his unverifiable answer any more verified?

I'd guess the question was just to see how hard I was trolling. I would assume he already knew I was lying and just wanted to see how far I'd carry it.
post #35 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowley View Post

Would knowing the name of the test make his unverifiable answer any more verified?

It wouldn't, but note that I clearly separated my first and second statement. Not being verififiable doesn't affect my interest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mistercow View Post

I'd guess the question was just to see how hard I was trolling. I would assume he already knew I was lying and just wanted to see how far I'd carry it.

I didn't consider if you were lying. It's not like you had chosen a 180 or higher IQ. You didn't even choose a value that is considered genius level. Just curiosity coupled with what I thought was sage advice.

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post #36 of 66

I don't have this product, but I can say that living in an apartment, almost whenever I cook, it sets off the smoke alarm and I have to take a broomstick to hit the button to stop the thing from blaring.   Usually five minutes later it triggers on again.    And I find that to be a pain.   So I would like one that I could wave off, but obviously it should only wave off once it's been triggered on.

 

As far as their thermostats not actually saving energy, that's going to be completely dependent upon how you set it.  If you set it to a temperature that's going to keep the heat (or AC) on all the time, it's obviously not going to save any energy.    I certainly don't see this as a fault of the product.    

post #37 of 66

Wouldn't a simpler smoke and CO detector be better? What's next, a Google-Nest fire extinguisher with Google voice control and G+ integration so your online friends can share your emergency?

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post #38 of 66
The thermostat is great, but this detector seems way overpriced to me, and the wear components should be end-user replaceable, i.e. the detection elements.
post #39 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post
 

We... are not aware of any customers who have experienced this, but the fact that it could even potentially happen is extremely important to me and I want to address it immediately.

 

Hi Tony, we've got another cadaver on the line. Yeah... um.... he says his house burned down because a moth flew in front of his NEST. Do you want me to patch him through or put him on hold with the others?

post #40 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil Anderson View Post

Whew. Dodged that bullet. Imagine if Apple had bought Nest we'd now be looking at a 10% overnight stock drop.


I'd imagine we'd be looking at a message board full of posts blaming the users.

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